03 April 2006

Time to throw a bucket of cold water over them?

The cartoon war between Australia and Indonesia has increased in intensity with Bill Leak's cartoon in the Weekend Australian.

Gallery: Browse through Bill Leak's cartoons

and today's verbal rejoinder in the Australian .

If you're affronted by the reproduction of the cartoon let me know. I'm all in favour of freedom of speech though sometimes it's not easy to define its boundaries.

ABC TV's Media Watch has also had some difficulty reconciling free speech with good taste and sensitivity. Last week I thought it overstepped the mark with its report about the 2002 cruise ship death. On the program Monica Attard was strongly and rightly critical of the Advertiser's "gutter journalism" for printing a doctored photo of one of the women passengers who was a friend and travelling companion of the deceased, but the support team erred badly by putting the offending photo on the program website.

This week's program, however, IMO handled another delicate matter with more sensitivity.

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